Saturday, February 18, 2012


The cruise ship SAGA PEARL II photographed at Funchal on 31 December 2010.
Built in Hamburg in 1980-81 as HAMMONIA and renamed ASTOR while fitting out, she was one of the first new cruise ships of the nineteen eighties, starting a new era in the history of passenger and cruise shipping after a period of decline associated to the period of 1965-1980, when it was generaly accepted that the days of the large passenger ships were over and liners like the QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 of 1969 would never be built again... 
The first ASTOR entered service on 14 December 1981 operated by HADAG under the German flag. In February 1984 she was transferred to the South African registry under Safmarine ownership and in August 1985 she was renamed ARKONA replacing the VOLKERFREUNDSCHAFT as the East German "official" cruise ship. In 2001 she became the ASTORIA operating for Transocean Cruises and in April 2010 she was introduced by Saga Cruises as SAGA RUBY II.
SAGA now owns the first German new cruise ships of the eighties: BERLIN, ASTOR and EUROPA...

Texto e imagens /Text and images copyright L.M.Correia. Favor não piratear. Respeite o meu trabalho / No piracy, please. For other posts and images, check our archive at the right column of the main page. Click on the photos to see them enlarged. Thanks for your visit and comments. Luís Miguel Correia
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